12th Annual Seattle – Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition

2016/03/30 News

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The 12th Annual Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition was held on March 28th, 2016 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.

There were 4 finalists in the High School Vocalist section, and 6 finalists in the Adult Vocalist section. Kirstina Buno claimed victory in the High School Vocalist section with her beautiful singing voice, and Adult Vocalist section winner LaVon Haridison amazed the audience with her performance. The two winners will be performing as guests in the Kobe Jazz Vocal Queen Contest held in Shinkaichi, Kobe on May 7th.

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The Jazz Vocalist Audition also hosted several past winners, and we were able to listen in on their jam session as well as listen to their experiences in Kobe.

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We would like to thank the new President of the Seattle Kobe Sister City Association, Benjamin Erickson, as well as previous President Karin Zaugg. They were a great help in the management and planning of this event, and we would not have been able to host this event without their help.

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The event was preceded by welcome remarks from Consul Ryutaro Konishi, from the Consulate General of Japan, as well as the Kobe Trade Information Office Director Tetsuya Sometani. The KTIO Director was also able to read a letter from Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto, celebrating the event and the ties between Seattle and Kobe.

 

3月28日 Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley で第12回女性ジャズボーカリスト オーディション開催。

高校生の部は予選を勝ち抜いた4名で、大人の部は、6人での決選。

高校生の部は、爽やかな歌声で場内を魅了したKristina Bunoさん

大人の部は、歌のうまさに加えて、情感豊かなステージパフォーマンスで、終了後も、会場をしばらくどよめかせたLaVon Haridisonさんが優勝。5月7日の神戸・新開地で行われる神戸ジャズボーカルクイーンコンテストでゲスト出場します。

歴代優勝者によるジャムセッションやそれぞれの神戸での思い出話も披露しました。

この大会の運営サポートしていただいているSeattle Kobe Sister City Associationの新会長Benjamin Ericksonさんと前会長のKarin Zauggさんが見事な掛け合いでKobeを盛り上げていただきました。感謝!

冒頭では、シアトル総領事館小西領事に続いて、神戸シアトルビジネスオフィス ディレクター染谷より、ご挨拶と、久元喜造神戸市長からのメッセージを代読しました。

KTIO offices move to Suite 4310

2016/01/22 News

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We have moved! Due to our building undergoing some reorganization, the KTIO/HBCC offices have moved from the 23rd floor to Suite 4310 on the 43rd floor in the Safeco Plaza building. We now have a great view of Mt. Rainier and Safeco field, so please drop by if you get a chance.
 
私たちは、ビルオーナーからの要請で、23階から同じビルの43階にオフィスの移転をしました。
ようやく荷物を片付けて落ち着いたところです。
このように天気さえ良ければ、レーニア山が真正面に見えます。セーフコフィールドを見下ろし、また、スペースニードルの展望デッキが目の高さに見えます。眺めも良いところですので、また、お越しください。
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Reception held at the Consulate General’s Residence

2015/12/16 News

Reception_04The Consulate General’s Official Residence in Seattle hosted a reception on December 10th in honor of the Japanese Emperor’s birthday. Many local officials and those with ties to Japan were in attendance. Kobe Trade Information Office was honored to attend alongside Hyogo Business & Culture Center. From our booth in the residence, we were able to hand out guides to the city of Kobe and introduce some local products to the attendees.

In particular we were asked about the Fukuju sake served for the toast, which is brewed by the Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan breweries in the Nada region of Kobe city. The sake had also been served during the dinner and reception for the Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in 2012.

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During the ceremony, Consul General Masahiro Omura presented KING 5 news anchor Ms. Lori Matsukawa with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation and former Washington Secretary of State Mr. Ralph Munro with the Foreign Minister’s Certificate of Gratitude.

Along with being a news anchor for King 5 TV, Ms. Lori Matsukawa is a co-founder and leader of the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, and works to promote Japanese language education and the preservation of Nikkei history.

The former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro has contributed greatly to Japan-U.S. relations, including the establishment of the Hyogo Business and Culture Center. His promotion of the sister relationship between Washington State and Hyogo Prefecture, alongside the development of many connections between Japanese officials and leaders, serves to bring Japan and the U.S. closer to this day.

 

12月10日、日本総領事館公邸にて天皇誕生日祝賀レセプションが行われました。神戸シアトルビジネスオフィスは兵庫県事務所と共に参加し、公邸内に設置したブースから、シアトルの日系企業のみなさんや日本とゆかりのある方々に、神戸市の観光や特産物を紹介しました。

特に参加者が興味を持たれたのが神戸酒心館で作られる福寿。これは、2012年山中伸弥教授が、ノーベル賞を受賞した時、晩餐会で出されたものです。当日も、乾杯をはじめ、参加者の皆さんに楽しんでいただけました。

レセプションでは大村昌弘総領事よりローリー・マツカワ氏に外務大臣表彰、ラルフ・マンロー氏に外務大臣感謝状が授与されました。お二人は、ワシントン州での日米関係の発展に大きな貢献をしてきたことでの受賞です。

ローリー・マツカワ氏はキングテレビのニュースキャスターであり、パシフィック・ノースウェストでの日系コミュニティの主要メンバーとしても活躍されてきました。マツカワ氏はワシントン州の日本文化コミュニティセンターの設立者の一人であり、今でもワシントンでの日本語教育、日系人の歴史の記録に貢献されています。

ラルフ・マンロー氏は元ワシントン州務長官であり、長年にわたり、日米の友好関係を発展させてこられました。兵庫県ワシントン事務所の創立にもかかわり、兵庫県とワシントン州の姉妹都市関係を深めつつ、日本政府とワシントン州の人的なつながりを支援されてこられました。

KTIO Visits Silicon Valley

2015/09/11 News
5 Finalist Participants at 500 Startups

In late August, KTIO and a delegation of 16 participants from Japan traveled to Silicon Valley in California. Among these 16 participants were entrepreneurs and students, who arrived in Silicon Valley with the goal of expanding their knowledge and expertise on business development, entrepreneurial growth, and successful methods for pitching ideas. From 8/22 through 8/27, KTIO and the team at San Francisco’s 500 Startups worked with these participants to develop entrepreneurial tools for success in business and technological fields.

At 500 Startups, participants from Japan lean how to effectively pitch an idea.

At 500 Startups, participants from Japan lean how to effectively pitch an idea.

Participants from Japan traveled throughout Silicon Valley, visiting numerous organizations and startups such as Google, ChatWork, Pinterest, Yahoo!, Apple, Treasure Data and Twitter. After exploring Silicon Valley’s unique characteristics and entrepreneurial history, these participants were given the opportunity to present a pitch to Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, Venture Partners at 500 Startups. Five participants were chosen to proceed into a “championship round” of pitch presentations.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

One of the five finalists in the competition to pitch an idea presents at 500 Startups.

By the end of the week presenter Mami Takesada was chosen as the winner. All participants who presented were counseled and given advice by Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, who regularly support international entrepreneurs through 500 Startups.

Participants meet with 500 Startups employees and entrepreneurs to learn about the process of pitching and developing successful ideas.

Participants meet with 500 Startups employees and entrepreneurs to learn about the process of pitching and developing successful ideas.

Zafer Younis (left) and Diana Moldavsky (right) of 500 Startups pose for a photo with the winning participant from Japan, Mami Takesada.

Zafer Younis (left) and Diana Moldavsky (right) of 500 Startups pose for a photo with the winning participant from Japan, Mami Takesada.

The winning presenter is counseled by 500 Startups' Zafer Younis.

The winning presenter is counseled by 500 Startups’ Zafer Younis.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan attend a lecture at Stanford University on the history and unique characteristics of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan attend a lecture at Stanford University on the history and unique characteristics of Silicon Valley.

Participants from Japan prepare their individual pitchces before presenting ideas at 500 Startups.

Participants from Japan prepare their individual pitchces before presenting ideas at 500 Startups.

Participants work with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

Participants work with Zafer Younis, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

Participants from Japan sit in on a lecture at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offices, a corporation providing legal services to tech companies.

Participants from Japan sit in on a lecture at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offices, a corporation providing legal services to tech companies.

Participants visit ChatWork in Sunnyvale, CA.

Participants visit ChatWork in Sunnyvale, CA.

Mr. Sometani and participants from Japan visited the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan visited the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan gather at Treasure Data in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan gather at Treasure Data in Mountain View, CA.

Participants from Japan exchange ideas with ChatWork, a communication platform designed for small businesses.

Participants from Japan exchange ideas with ChatWork, a communication platform designed for small businesses.

Participants from Japan also had the opportunity to visit the Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA.

Participants from Japan also had the opportunity to visit the Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA.

Mr. Sometani's trip included a visit to Stanford University, where participants were lectured on the history of Silicon Valley.

Our trip included a visit to Stanford University, where participants were lectured on the history of Silicon Valley.

Mr. Sometani and the participants from Japan visited Treasure Data, a company that specializes in data management.

Participants from Japan visited Treasure Data, a company that specializes in data management.

Mr. Sometani (far right) poses for a farewell photo with the participants from Japan.

The KTIO Director (far right) poses for a farewell photo with the participants from Japan.

KTIO would like to give Ms. Takesada our warm congratulations, and extend thanks to 500 Startups for its continued support of entrepreneurial exchange between Kobe, the United States, and Japan.

Seafair Torchlight Parade & JET Sendoff

2015/07/28 News
Members and friends of the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association gathered to greet Ms. Akane Kotani and celebrate Mr. Sometani's birthday

The last weekend of July has proven to be an eventful one for KTIO. On Friday, July 24th, our office gathered for a barbecue with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association to celebrate the Kobe Seafair Ambassador, Ms. Akane Kotani.

Earlier in the afternoon on Friday, July 24th, both KTIO and the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center attended a special Sendoff Reception for new members of the JET Program leaving to teach English and support local government throughout Japan. The reception was held at the residence of Seattle’s Consulate General of Japan, Mr. Masahiro Omura. A total of 64 new JET hirees will be leaving for Japan; five of the 64 will travel to Hyogo Prefecture, and two of those five will travel to Kobe. Of the JET hirees traveling to Kobe, they plan to work with both Hazetani Junior High School and Sakuranomiya Junior High School.

New JET hirees and supporting community members gather for a photo at the residence of Consulate General Omura

64 new JET Program hirees will visit Japan to teach English as Assistant Language Teachers or assist local government as Coordiators for International Relations

Ms. Akane Kotani arrived in Seattle on Thursday, July 23rd to participate as a representative of Kobe in Seattle’s annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. The Seafair Torchlight Parade heralds the beginning of Seattle’s Seafair festival, and is a renowned event where Seattle citizens, organizations, and businesses may celebrate both Seafair and the spirit of Seattle.

Below are photos of the Seafair Torchlight Parade on Saturday, July 25th:

A photo of the beginning of the Seafair Torchlight Parade

A photo of the beginning of the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Kobe Seafair Ambassador Akane Kotani participating in the Torchlight Parade

Kobe Seafair Ambassador Akane Kotani participating in the Torchlight Parade

Seattle Mariners' starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez, participating in the Torchlight Parade

Seattle Mariners’ starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez, participating in the Torchlight Parade

University of Washington marching band providing entertainment during the Torchlight Parade

University of Washington marching band providing entertainment during the Torchlight Parade

Mayor Ed Murray (left) and husband Michael Shiosaki (right) participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Mayor Ed Murray (left) and husband Michael Shiosaki (right) participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Seattle’s Seafair weekend begins on Friday, July 31st, and continues until Sunday, August 2nd.